Today I did my first ever felting project, which is a tiny teddy bear face. The process is of a lot fun as well as a lot patience. I found it hard to distribute the wool evenly and it is very hard to manage proper quantity of wool (like how much you should use for one time).
After I am done with shaping and felting my lovely bear, I also made it a pink bow tie and I applied a LED light to the tie. Though this is a very simple product, I am very into it and hopefully I will come up with more interesting ideas in the future and add more digital stuffs into it.
This semester has been by far my best in Sophomore year, and being part of this class contributed a great deal to it. At the beginning, I felt intimidated that I did not really have much experience with any of the software that we were going to learn how to use. I remember once starting up photoshop and being so confused with the edit options that I deleted the trial version for my PC. I didn’t think I could learn to be “on amicable terms” with it ever, or any other Adobe editing software outside of Adobe Reader. It is with great pleasure that I say that i can now comfortably speak of Photoshop, Premiere, Audition, even After Effects without it being a lie, and me being horrifyingly pretentious about how much experience I truly do have with these editing software.
Another thing about the class that made the learning process really good in my opinion is the fact that everything we learnt helped us in our next process. Learning Photoshop helped us develop our comic strip, and learning Audition helped us make really good video clips with high quality sound in Premiere, and finally all these aspects made our animation projects come to fruition. (I should point out that we did not only learn media editing with Adobe, but i found integration within these much easier than say using iMovie or Audacity or other photo editing software that we were also introduced to.)
That said, I should also say that I’m more of a loner and usually choose working on my own when given the option of that or group work, I always feel like that way, I have no resentment towards anyone in case anything goes wrong. However, I enjoyed the group work that we had to do with the rest of our classmates…each group I was assigned had members that had different approaches or opinions about some thing and it was great to brainstorm together and to come up with novel ideas. It was a also a big relief to be able to cooperate with people that got their potions of the work done thus lightening the burden for all group members as a result. It is very evident in that I feel like my final Animation project would have gone much better if I had collaborated with someone else rather than strike out on my own as is my usual first choice. I’m glad I’m learning about true group work now, and not later in life! 🙂
Another wonderful aspect to this class is the access it granted us to all these amazing resources: in forms of professors, the lab assistants, the students and finally, the equipment that is in the IMA lab. It was a pleasure to be able to see all these new and amazing projects going on on the 8th floor everyday and to be able to freely talk with the people doing them, it was also good to discuss my work, recruit actors of voice-overs or just “crew” for the project because everyone as willing to help! I’m so grateful to the IMA community because they’re very very welcoming and are such an exciting bunch. I hope to take way more classes and to learn to use all the equipment that we have access to in school for creating. Thank you very much for a lovely semester, and for being so understanding Prof. Marianne.
I initially set out to make my animation on these two female cartoon characters I had found on the internet once. I found the image compelling because this little girl was trying to help the sad older girl. I thought it’d be great to try to animate the events that could have brought them to this situation.
Despite having difficulty doing the storyboard, mainly because I couldn’t make up my mind about where to place my characters. I eventually decided that the park was a natural place to place two children playing with balloons. I then went about trying to find a park where the two characters could fit in. My first attempt was to go to the Century Park with a camera to record a park scene where these 2 characters could interact with each other. I thought it would be cool to include my characters in a scene that has real life people, and not other illustrations. But when i failed to get footage that could work well with the cartoons, I decided to use a picture of a balloon man in the park that i had sourced from the internet. However, this turned out to be very low resolution footage for the resultant movie, and upon following Marianne’s advice found a high quality panorama shot of a park, that I think did the job quite well.
I then set about sourcing a balloon cart for the scene where the little girl buys balloons. I liked this illustration so i used just the balloon cart from it, and used Photoshop to clone more balloons from the balloon that is used in the original illustration. That done, i started going through the types of animations I could do with the different assets I had created from the girl’s drawings. And then set about placing them in the scene of the park. I like how the panning the background that Marianne recommended to me worked out well with the story.
Unfortunately, the day our final cut was due on Tuesday, the school Mac that I was using crashed and restarted; making me lose my files and recent edits that I hadn’t yet sad on Drive or my other computer since I didn’t have a portable drive to store them in. I think I learnt the importance of backing up everything I do, as soon as I do it then, when I couldn’t find any of the Premiere projects and After Effects work I had been doing all weekend. Since the project was due soon anyway, and I had another essay to write out again, I tried my hardest to save the components of my project that were easy to animate, and tell the rest of the story through Premiere effects. I’m not too disappointed with my final project because, even though it was better before….I saw how much I had learned and gained from practice with all the Adobe programmes that I was able to put this all together again in much shorter time.
I also now know that my project would have been more flexible and my characters easier to emulate had i used assets that I had drawn myself. I’ve made a promise to myself to try more to let go of my fear of drawing, kinda because I know i don’t have to be a pro to come up with illustrations, I hope to make another in the future from elements that i maybe designed fully on my own.
PS: the sound clips i used were sound i got from freesound.org for park noises, children playing and a girl crying and they were all mixed in Audition to fit in with the background.
Making an animation was perhaps one of the most difficult and rewarding processes of this semester, as it was not only among the most labor intensive, but also the most showing of the effort put in. Like most tools utilized during this semester, using Aftereffects was an educational experience, for applying principles learned in class by putting them into the process truly reinforced those concepts. Furthermore, the repetition incurred throughout the process, like the utilization of puppet pins for simulating movement, really clarified how animation can be done using this medium.
Initially an issue I faced was creating the storyboard. I think this because my initial storyboard was incredibly ambitious, and reflected how little I knew about the animation process. Upon learning about the amount of work my ambitious project required, I reassessed and changed the idea entirely. Even the changed storyboard was a little bit too ambitious, so I edited and worked as I saw fit throughout the process.
The next step, gathering the assets, was a little bit tricky, as I needed to create and/or assimilate all images, characters, and settings, and then compile them into an After Effects friendly format. This process was time consuming, but I managed to make the animation’s characters and scenery using the Smart Objects option in Photoshop. The challenge here was creating a specific image for each action. For example, I had to make a separate pair of eyes to show my characters blinking, and make specific body parts for each character to simulate motion in After Effects. It is necessary to note that I didn’t assemble any sound assets until I began animating, and lost these assets when I changed computers. The lesson here is, always save all assets to the same folder that the project is saved in.
After this was done, I uploaded all my assets into After Effects and began my work. In keeping with the storyboard, I needed to make scenes that corresponded with each shot of the storyboard. To do this, I made a composition to correspond with each of these panels, and hence simulated camera angles. This process, of creating the scenes themselves, was difficult, as using the puppet pins and other After Effects techniques to simulate motion is generally difficult. Nevertheless, we continued on, and although I never quite perfectly matched realistic motion, I think the end result was enough like a cartoon to work.
Here is the first cut:
After the initial round of feedback I received, I changed a few things to make the animation a little better. First, I went back into Photoshop and fixed the lines of my characters so that they were bolder and stood out more easily. In addition, I changed the balloon’s mouth so that it appeared more like a mouth than a “bat”. Then I edited the motion to make the movements of the character’s more natural. Finally, I brought in some ambient sound and other music, which helped the animation progress and not remain stagnant. The final step was to make the dialogue of the film and convert it into key frames. From here, I parented the balloon’s mouth the the key frames, which allowed the mouth to move in chorus with the speaking parts. Essentially, this simulated the balloon speaking.
Overall, I would say I spent maybe 20 plus hours working on this project, and rendering certainly contributed to the length. Nevertheless, after rendering and compression, I finished this process and I can say that I am proud of the animation “Billy’s Revenge”
Over the course of this semester, it must be said that I have learned many useful and applicable lessons from my time in Communications Lab. I believe the best resource this class provides is the exposure to the many digital media which are used to create and communicate in this digital age. From learning HTML to the creating the final animations in After Effects, this course has introduced me to many tools which I had never used before, and provided me the opportunity to lean and practice using said tools. What is significant about this is, though I may not be 100 percent proficient in each area, I did nevertheless gain exposure to each tool and am now capable of using those tools. Furthermore, the knowledge of the tools which I acquired during this semester will allow me to, from this point on, further develop my competence in each platform and become more proficient with time.
This said, I can say that there were several things which I have learned about myself, and about my creative process, during the course of this semester. The first is that it is necessary when embarking on a project, like an animation or film, to plan ahead as far as you can. Often I was much too ambitious with what I wanted to make initially, and didn’t realize just how much work needed to be done. Planning ahead is a good way to reign in the unforeseeable factors and manage time in an efficient way.
The second lesson I learned is the value of gathering assets. If one plans ahead properly, then managing assets shouldn’t be too difficult. One may need to create their assets, as I did for practically every project I worked on this semester, which would still take considerable time. Nevertheless, really deciding what you need beforehand will make the asset step much easier, and by extent expedite much effort in following steps.
The next lesson regards working in groups. I have found in this experience that group work can be a fun process when all in the group are excited and willing to work on the project. This adds immensely to the quality of the finished product, and makes all work spent on the project much easier. However, there is a point where all members become so accepting, that is, so readily agreeing to all suggestions that the process becomes halted and no work can be done. In a situation like this, I believe that one member must be a little firm guiding the group in a direction, so that the project can continue to move forward.
The most important lesson I have learned throughout the semester is that the tools we used (Photoshop, After Effects, Premier, Audacity, etc.) and the hardware which accompanied these tools (cameras, microphones, laptops) are all wonderful, but must be managed careful. As these resources are shared throughout the NYUSH community, acquiring them can be difficult and put the progress of your creation in peril. Furthermore, access to the adobe suite is also not universal, and access can be tricky. Therefore, appreciating the availability of resources is an important consideration for any digital expression process.
Overall, this has been a wonderful semester, and this class has furnished my time with work that has been an immense joy to do, which certainly cannot be said for any other classes. I look forward to putting the skills developed in this class to good use in the future, and hope that with time, practice will allow me to progress with each of these media.
What I appreciated most about this segment of the class were the tools used to make our 3D models. Although we learned the sophisticated Fusion 360 and Rhino CADs, I nevertheless opted to use Tinkercad, because it is simple and doable. Fusion 360 was excellent, but a little confusing. I rely heavily on the ability to create custom shapes by making holes out of other solid shapes, but Fusion 360 did not allow me to do this. Rhino was also very difficult to reckon with, so I did not use Rhino.
Making a Tinkercad model was nevertheless quite time consuming, as it required hours of design and redesign. Although I was only able to print a single holder for the sound sensor, I was still able to print it and tinker with its design after doing so. What I decided to construct was an iphone 5 case which offered a variety of features. The first feature was built in amplified speaker which would passively amplify all sound. The second is a collapsible back which allows one to place the iphone on a table and prop it up. The next feature is the combination of twin cord holders, which would ideally be used for holding one’s headphones and charging cord simulteaneously. The final and most sophisticated feature is the built in sound detector. This would include installing a sound detector, buzzer, arduino lilypad, and a power source. By connecting the three, we could program the lilypad to take all input noise taken in by the sound sensor, and translate that into sound emitted by the buzzer. The idea is to effectually allow one to find their phone if it becomes lost by simply having them clap or make a really loud noise. The phone case would respond to this loud noise by buzzing, and thus help the user easily locate the lost phone. Here are the designs for the iphone case.
What I appreciated most about this segment of the class were the tools used to make our 3D models. Although we learned the sophisticated Fusion 360 and Rhino CADs, I nevertheless opted to use Tinkercad, because it is simple and doable. Fusion 360 was excellent, but a little confusing. I rely heavily on the ability to create custom shapes by making holes out of other solid shapes, but Fusion 360 did not allow me to do this. Rhino was also very difficult to reckon with, so I did not use this.
Making a Tinkercad model was nevertheless quite time consuming, as it required hours of design and redesign. Although I was only able to print a sibgle holder for the sound sensor, I was still able to print it and tinker with its design after doing so. What I decided to construct was an iphone 5 case which offered a variety of features. The first feature was built in amplified speakers which would passively amplify all sound. The second is a collapsible back which allows one to place the iphone on a table and prop it up. The next feature is the combination of twin cord holders, which would ideally be used for holding one’s headphones and charging cord simulteaneously. The final and most sophisticated feature is the built in sound detector. This would include installing a sound detector, buzzer, arduino lilypad, and a power source. By connecting the three, we could program the lilypad to take all input noise taken in by the sound sensor, and translate that into sound emitted by the buzzer. The idea is to effectually allow one to find their phone if it becomes lost by simply having them clap or make a really loud noise. The phone case would respond to this loud noise by buzzing, and thus help the user easily locate the lost phone. Here are the designs for the iphone case.
So this class has been a complete blast for me. I have always been interested in learning all the things that were presented to me in this class, and every week gave me a new opportunity to immerse myself in a different form of media. The final project really wrapped everything up, from utilizing storytelling through video and other visual effects, to creating assets in photoshop. The whole process took a very long time, and most of the time was spent creating the assets. However, the second most amount of time spent was on fine tuning all the different effects and movements that were present in my animation. Although Seal Clubbers Convention (my animation) didn’t have any fancy camera movements or a complicated storyline, it did rely on sound effects and visual effects to tell the simple story of seal clubbers being sucked in a hell elevator. The hardest part was setting keyframes down and determining how to move and animate the individual characters of the story in order to give them a bit more personality. The elevator monster’s tentacle movements were easy to manipulate via the puppet tool, but the elevator door opening had to have perfect timing to give it the satisfying feel that is has right now. The individual stickmen had to be given different animation to give them a bit more personality as well, and even now I am looking into changing it up a bit more to reduce the repetitive nature of the stickmen themselves. This animation was the best way to wrap up everything I have learned in the class, and looking back at the beginning of the semester, I have come a long way. Here it is, enjoy:
The idea comes from my terrible experience in using my Mac to do DE project. The system crushed three times when exporting the video. The terrible cooling capacity of Mac drive me to this project——creating a cooling system for my mac.
The project can be divided into three parts.
1. Extra holder for a badly-designed radiator
The four holders for the original radiator is the first step of the project. The problem is that the original design doesn’t provide space to let hot air go out. So I made four holders on the corner to lift the computer. I used laser cutter to cut the material and carefully assembled them.
Ai file: Material: 2mm Acrylic
2. Temperature detecter and fan
I used Arduino to combine a temperature sensor and a fan together. When the temperature get too high, the fan will be automatically switched on. This part is designed to cool the hottest part of the computer. (Usually it’s the part near the screen for Mac, but it can be adjusted.) The motor will keep working for a few seconds as designed, so that it will not cost much energy by switching rapidly.
Temp. Sensor: Codes:
#include <Servo.h> //声明伺服马达函数库
3. Customized System
In the third part I designed a completely new cooling system to place all my components, and combine my first part and second part together. I used laser cutter to cut all the materials. I carefully located the sensor on the hottest part of the computer, and tilts the fans a little bit so that the wind can be more focused and hot air will go out easier. Here is the design and final products.
Ai files: Bottom. Material: 3mm Acrylic Sides. Material: 5mm Acrylic Extra components. Material: 5mm Acrylic
Top. Material: 5mm Acrylic
3. Does it work?
Definitely! The temperature is well-controlled by this new system and the extra fan is working better than expected. Here are some test pics and video. IMG_0582
4. Problems and Possible Improvements
1. The holder doesn’t quite fit the new designed ones, and it should be made more stable and can stably stay on the new system. Maybe add more holes to the new one can be the solution. Another solution is attach the holder to the bottom of the new case.
2. There is no space for power line or usb holes of the computer. Some holes should be made on the holder so that the computer can have mouse or other things connected to it.
3. The holder of the extra fan should be re-designed. It is now fixed by tapes.
4. The fans inside the case are easy to be moved. However, in most cases they may touch other components such as wires and Arduino and make terrible noises.They should be installed more stably.
Here is the revised circuit in Eagle. The original one is much larger than the final version. Thanks to Matt and Vivian’s advice to narrow the distance between components. It do take a long time to print the board.
An interesting attempt is that the 1×6 Holder is placed on the bottom side of the board, instead of the opposite side of the usb mini-b.
Here is the print Process of PCB and the final product.
In the making of this animation, I decided to convey a message between the relationship of nature and technology. Since this project is my last one, I wanted to put quite a lot of effort into it. Thus, I learned a lot of new methods to animate not only through Prof. Marianne classes in Adobe After Effects but also through Youtube videos about cinematic effects, partial 3D facial animations, and walking cycles. Additionally, I found the twelve principles of animation very useful during the making. This project took my photoshop, premiere, audacity, and after effects skills to the limits.
I began with the creation of my scenes through simple sketchy panels telling where, what, and how the main character (which I called S4M or “SAM”) moves around the animation. Basically, the main character is a robot that wanders around the corners of a city, finding an unusual item never seen before, a leaf. After the panels, I started with my character design through photoshop and separated each movable part into layers; I have done the character sketch in a small notebook. S4M was divided into 3 sides: front, sides, and rear. The background of S4M was also divided into those three. What I have found very convenient is that After Effects allows the conversion of 2D space into 3D space, simplifyng the creation of the front and back background scenes. Then, I began tediously animating the scene according to what I have learned overall in After Effects. In the beginning, S4M’s walking cycles were quite horrible (it seemed like he was flying on the ground), so I did the scene all over again. The second time, I noticed a pattern in walking cycles — the time that one leg takes to reach the opposite end is the same as when the other leg moves towards the other end. Although this idea seems very obvious, I see that forgeting it is quite usual. After finishing all my scenes and compiling them in premiere with music and sounds, I noticed that my final animation looks drastically different from what I sketched in thepanels before, but I am still quite happy with it.
I had quite a lot of fun in making this project regardless of the fact that it took days to make, and I think everyone as well. Sometimes, I animated S4M doing some hilarious movements that can bring a smile to anyone. However, as I will not have any IMA’s classes next year during study away, it saddens me a bit. Nonetheless, I hope that everyone in IMA has a wonderful time, and I will be looking forward to the senior year.
The animation highlights the final project and end of this communications lab course. I wanted to give it my best and I am really happy of the animation I made. Through this animation, I wanted to combine my passion for cooking, especially since our current dorms does not have a kitchen, so one of the messages in this animation was to explore what you could cook in a microwave and I chose to do that through a chocolate microwave mugcake.
Drawing a layout of the shots to be taken on a story board was helpful in giving me a sense of what the story was going to evolve into and the kinds of props that I would be needing, but it was more in shooting the animation, doing the actual work that the project took turns and shaped itself. I decided to use stop motion which involves taking A LOT of pictures. I’ve never been a “camera person”, not really into taking pictures or walking with a camera when I go travelling, and in this project I think I took more pictures than I have previously in my life or on my phone. I really enjoyed the process and learning how to properly use a camera, fixing the resolution and focus, playing with shooting angles and lighting, and properly fixing a camera on a tripod stand. I definitely feel confident that I have enough skills now to carry a camera with me wherever I go! At least, when I take pictures now, there will be a lot of thinking behind the process rather than just taking a picture randomly.
Looking at how much work everyone put in their animation as well as how much effort and time it took to create those few minutes of pure joy, I feel that it was the best. I definitely have more admiration for all those artists who make hours of animation, even for a few seconds, it takes hundreds of pictures to make those few seconds magical. After a semester in communications lab, the first IMA class that I am taking at NYUSH, I feel in awe and admiration and I am discovering that I really like doing this stuff. I have gained so many skills in this class and 16 weeks ago, I would say that I was helpless at technology. I feel that in those 16 weeks, I grew a long way and I am sad that this course is ended but so grateful to have had Marianne as my professor. It was an awesome semester and Marianne, you made the class so lively and sparked creativity in your students, really thankyou! I feel pumped up to learn even more and I can’t wait to see what I will be creating next!!
I always knew I was interested in stuff like this. I would edit photos in an app called “Picnick” for hours on end all throughout middle school. When I decided to go to school for graphic design my mom and dad bought me the Adobe CS6 creative suite, but for some reason that path stopped dead in its tracks. I’m not sure why I stopped doing work with digital images, etc. But, I am so happy that I took Communications Lab. It expanded my knowledge of the Adobe software, and taught me techniques you only learn after messing up and having a teacher show you the way.
This class was my first real taste of IMA and I could not be happier I changed my major. This is such a supportive and fun environment and the class was a blast every single time. I made friends in the class! Also, all of the skills learned in this class have already helped me in other areas of life. I made a mini animation of Mike Tyson for my GPC final! This class has helped me in my internship with HashtagNYU as well, because it helps me develop more “professional” looking content to publish on the site.
I thought the way the class flowed was very helpful. It was very gradual and it built up so nicely. I found myself dipping into tools I had previously learned to help me fulfill the next assignment. (Now to convince my mom to get me the Adobe products) I wish we applied HTML and CSS into our work more, but I see how that is hard. Hopefully I have enough of a basis to expand upon in the future, maybe I’ll even make it a summer goal to learn some computer coding.
I really loved this project! When I first started I knew I wanted to do something entirely on my own. I think working by myself was a good decision because it allowed me to try weird things with the animation that sometimes worked really well, or were very bad. This also meant that I not only had to animate on my own but I had to make my own characters and music. As time went on, the project got so big I had to make cuts in places. I realizes making my own music was a crazy idea, and I found some great royalty free tracks on the Youtube Audio Library. Making my own characters was something I could do though, and I really enjoyed it. I almost grew attached to my little blonde boy and Indian Man.
I wanted to pay a lot of attention to detail, and it was hard at times when I knew I could get the point across in an easier way. It was the secondary movements of the balloon, or maybe the character’s eyebrows, or the clouds that really tied my animation together. Although it was hard at times synching everything up with each other, it was worth it. I occasionally would play back a sequence I had just animated to find the arm on the other side of the screen rotating super fast. But, it was these funny mistakes that made me more proficient in the “language” of Adobe. I definitely think I have tuned up my Photoshop, After Effects, and Premiere Skills after this project.
I found out that I love animation, and I am thinking of taking a course in it when I go to NY in the spring. If I continue work on my animation I would add in sound effects, and refine body movements and secondary animation as well as some timing issues. All in all, I am very proud of my piece, and my mom is too. 🙂
We then decided to animate Chinese classical paintings, and we spent a while searching for the right paintings and the background music. After that we divided our work and started to prepare the assets, which was not that easy for me because I had to separate a lot of layers to enable the arm movements.
After we animated our own part, we had a difficult time putting them all together because the size and color tones of the three paintings are all different. Taken a few advices from the class feedback, we decided to put the compositions in 3 frames and do color correction.
Then the biggest challenge came – my hard drive failed and I lost the after effect files of my part. We then tried several alternative ways to finish our animation including putting in the exported video instead of the composition and adding the background of the close ups in premiere.
Anyway I had a lot of fun doing this animation, and I am very lucky to have a teammate who helped a lot when my hard drive failed. If we have more time I’ll redo the ending part, because now the third singer is a little bit off since I added her part after I had exported the ending and lost the ae file.
This project was both the hardest and most fun to complete. July came up with the concept, and together we worked to choose the best paintings and songs to go together. Once we settled on those and made our storyboard, we divided each verse of the song (about 15 seconds each) between the two of us. Each of us then used Photoshop to transform our assets, which included separating our body parts and replacing the background of the images, as well as color correction.
During the Photoshopping process, I ran into a slight limitation; the movement of all the body parts we wanted wasn’t easily feasible, and after several failed attempts to separate out more than just the heads, mouths, and hands in a aesthetically pleasing way, I settled on just the aforementioned body parts.
Figuring out a way to compile so many compositions with different dimensions was difficult, but we were able to easily and successfully use the frames idea that someone gave us in class. Making the frames on the wall asset was not too difficult, but figuring out how to layer all the compositions together and make the camera zoom in and across took some time.
Animation proved itself to be extremely time consuming, tedious, and frustrating, but also exciting, new, and inspiring. Overall, I am quite pleased with the results, especially as this was my first time animating anything. If I had more time to edit a few tiny things, I would, but mostly I am happy with what we have accomplished. July was a fantastic partner who pulled her weight, and she was a champ when her hard drive failed right before the due date!
After a successful semester in Communications Lab, I am happy to say that I have learned several skills that I can’t wait to further explore in the future. Photoshop was the only program I had worked with before this semester, so a large portion of the class was completely new to me. This meant that almost every project took some time to begin, since I had to get used to a new program, but I felt that usually I was able to catch on quickly enough.
Over the course of the semester, I do feel as though the time it took for me to grasp the features of a program decreased, which was a nice benefit. I assume this is mostly because the features sometimes overlapped with previous programs. I enjoyed that we were able to take what we learned in previous projects and use that knowledge in new ones, rather than having one thing we learned be applicable to that project and that project only.
Working with so many different people in class was a great aspect of ComLab because everyone always had something new to bring to the table, plus I was able to experience everyone’s talents behind the scenes – not just witness it in their final projects. Every partner I’ve had was extremely supportive, ready to help me with a feature I didn’t understand, and ready to learn from me as well. This is also true of in class critiques; I found them to be greatly beneficial and productive. The creativity of this class was amazing and inspiring; I loved that all the projects allowed me a glimpse into everybody’s lives and minds.
Now that it is the end of the semester, I am sad to be leaving such a lively, engaging, creative class, but I can’t wait to use my new skills in future endeavors!
While making the videos was a lot of fun, it was pretty hectic coordinating between our dancers especially since there was a holiday in between. In the end, we ended up getting atleast hours of footage of the dance, from individual dancers and group performances. It was a lot of learning in choosing the angles to shoot in, and in directing the dancers but most especially in the post-production of the video.
The making of the panels for our “Summer Rain” comic was more of an intuitive process than one that was simply planned out. Mary Kate and Stephanie decided to use the way the change of weather elements can affect the other components of the comic. This was a good manifestation of what Scott McCloud writes of in his introductory chapters for Understanding Comics. As he explains, it’s a good way to demonstrate transition, and his can be well done by showing changing weather patterns or say, changing the centre of focus on each new panel. Later on, we all decided to include a character that could interact with the audience as the panels changed and Mary Kate found this card with a little boy in various positions. Mary Kate and I then divided the panels for labour division that each of us were working on an interaction of the boy with the audience.
I worked with the boy playing football. Using photoshop, I traced and cut him out from the original strip and then transferred him to one of the weather backgrounds created by Stephanie. Even with the previous exercises involving Photoshop, I still had trouble making a convincing shadow but I knew that my strip needed a shadow to make it more convincing since it was still sunny outside. After trying, and failing to follow a certain tutorial on the Internet about making convincing shadow effects, I realized that I could just lay around with the drop shadow settings and the Transformation settings until it looked good enough. I’m happy to say, that it was worth it, and I like the shadow I created. I’m also much more appreciative of the time and effort that creative that have to work with photoshop all the time expend. It can get very frustrating when you have to do many do-overs.
Eventually, we named our panel Summer Rain, because what else could it possibly be? We did brainstorm for a name, it’s just this was the most fitting!
Following the criticisms we received in the next class we modified our comic strip as per the suggestions we were given, and hope that this provides an overall better aesthetic experience.
I really enjoyed working with Stephanie and Mary Kate because we were almost always thinking the same thing when coming up with ideas, and everything flowed smoothly in the production process! We finished the comic 4 days early just because of that. Thank you ladies!
Animation film Sita Sings the Blues, made by Nina Paley, interprets 2 stories in different time zones but have the same theme. The first one is about the Indian beautiful goddess Sita. She suffers one awful punishment and test after another from her mistrustful and apparently other-directed husband. The other one is a women lived in San Francisco called Nina. Nina’s husband Dave is called to work in India. When Nina comes back to US after a visiting to see her husband, she received a message from her husband about Dave does not love her anymore. Both Sita and Nina have a sad ending in this film.
It’s quite amazing how Paley herself directed this piece of magic, and adopted various animation styles to tell a story, and a musical, and has a separate tale set in the modern day to parallel that of the epic tale. I am speechless by how wonderful the opening credits got designed, fused perfectly with the song playing in the background.
Although it’s a tragedy animation, full of humorous jokes make this film different. And the transform between 2 story lines in this film is pretty fluent. Nifty animatio style creates more fun in this film. The best contemporary animated film without a doubt.
This is actually the second version of my rough cut that I presented to the class. I added more details, like the love hearts and bulbs and focus on the cat. Playing with camera and puppet is fun.
After the presentation, advice was given for the size of the dog. I meant to illustrate the growth of the dog, but it did not work in two seconds in my way. Also, things need to be fixed when the cat jumps. One other thing is that when at first the plate dropped to the ground, it did not break. The fire that meant for rage did not express my ideas clearly as well. There are the main focus of my improvement.
For our photoshop project, we took a basic stock photo of the beach and water and turned it into a mermaid, aquatic galore, fresh with giant octupi sinking ships, mermaids, and other bizarre creatures.
I specifically added in the birds, extended the cliffs/rocks in the scenery to be more than they originally were. As I was working, I had problems working with layers and it took me a while to realize when I needed to switch layer to layer to accomplish something.
For our comic, a stick figure observing a painting in a gallery. He steps into the painting, wherein by mysterious means, a hand approaches and kicks him off the cliff and back into reality. We drew the stick figure in Adobe Illustrator, but everything else were stock photos from Google, compiled together to create a comic.
After talking with Marianne, in terms of safety as well as my poor memory, i decide to upload this video again. Guys, just ignore this.
My first reaction upon the making of the film was a bit uneasy, because I did not have any idea of how to plan for the film. However, thanks to my group members (Nancy and Maddie), we have come up with an initial idea of a story that involved quite awkward and hilarious situations after a hangover. Nonetheless, as time passed, our film ideas evolved into something very different due to circumstances: a roommate to roommate situation that involves death. We also modified quite a lot of the panels around the beginning and the end of our storyboard.
I acted as the protagonist of the film, and I also modified and corrected most of the sounds that were recorded with film. I modified some of the movie in premiere as well. Madeleine and Nancy worked as the cameraman and sound recorder person during the shooting of the film, and they did most of the editing job in the making.
In the end, I was quite satisfied with the results, and I experienced many new things (such as frustration and self-achievement) — I think my group did as well — that were unknown to me as a newbie in filming.
To complete this video project, team work is really important.
First, since when we started doing the project, it was during midterm period, so everyone was busy that time. But we figured it out finally. Maddie and me did the first version of story board. And considering about the danger of shooting fight scenes, after I discussed with Billy, we had the second version. And of course, we changed our plan during shooting to ensure a more reasonable and also exciting story.
During the shooting, Billy acted as the main character and leading. And Maddie and I were responsible for shooting, lighting and recording.
And for editing the film, Maddie did a major part of editing videos and I was responsible for music editing and re-editing the video for adding some scenes we shoot later. For me, to find right songs, which can make the story more impressive, was hard but also interesting. And I was very happy that finally I made it.
Billy modified the whole video at last to ensure everything is ok.
I learnt a lot from this project, not only how to make a video but also how to work with team buddy. We did have some schedule problem, but we made it at last, and when we shooting, we had a good time, especially in familymart.
Thank to my team member!
Having never worked with Premiere before, this project was a challenge, but also very fun. Our original idea was slightly different, as Billy mentioned, but after reconsidering, we changed the storyboard in a way that helped tighten up the film and make it better.
Finding time that we were all available might have been the hardest part – especially after coming together one night and deciding that using only one LED light to simulate daylight just did not work out – but in the end we were able to find daytime hours that suited all of us. Once this happened, the filming came together nicely; Billy and his roommate acted and Nan and I filmed and managed lighting and sound. Billy was also able to help us set up the shots, as well as review them with us in the camera and recorder before moving on to the next scene.
One we shot all the scenes, Billy worked with the sound to clean it up and remove room noise, Nan found and integrated music into the film, and I edited the shots together and color corrected them where needed, then added the cleaned up audio. Nan also added a few scenes we shot a little later, and Billy and I did final small tweaks just before and after the critique.
The overall process was very time consuming – as was expected – but very fun and entertaining, and it was great to see it all come together in a video that the class seemed to enjoy.
*We took into account the critiques from class and lowered the volume of the plastic bag in various shots. However, we chose to leave the sound out of the transitional door closing scene because of personal style preference, and kept the roommate hidden until the final scene in order to maintain the air of mystery and hold the curiosity of the viewer.
The story begins with a robot named S4M, who explores the vast deepness of a technologically advanced city that protrudes all kinds of mechanical pillars over its lands. As S4M wanders into the darkest parts of the city, he finds a lonely leaf shone by a dim light. He is curious, so he proceeds forward to examine the leaf. As he grabs the leaf, his mechanical hand turn into an organic one. He becomes amused and studies the leaf even further. S4M “feels” the smoothness of the leaf; he had never experienced such feelings before. However, as he stroke the edge of the leaf, he accidentally “cuts” himself, feeling pain. Therefore, he releases the leaf, and the leaf flies away as his hand become mechanical again with a small scratch. The pain vanishes, and he realizes that the leaf is flying away through the wind. S4M chases the leaf, wanting to know more, but the leaf flies away into a precipice. He does not notice the fall, so he fell and destroyed himself in the process.
Nevertheless, I am thinking of the ending still. Maybe I can give him a happer ending.
Below is a quick sketch, but it’s subject to change.
The idea of this animation comes from Márquez’s short story Light is Like Water. It is a story about two boys who asked their parents to buy a boat and diving outfits in return for their good grades. After their parents went out of home, they broke the light bulb. The golden light pour out of the broken bulb like water. They navigated around the house/dove under the furniture after letting the light run to a certain depth. So they played with light/water, and light spilled over the balconies, fell from their apartment and rushed along the street.
I plan to use stop motion to present this story. For the last scene, I want to keep the background still and use fluorescent colour to gradually light every building as the water flow by, turning it from black&white to a colorful one.
So here is the collection of my storyboards. I think that my animation will acually be a trailer for the fictional scifi epic “SCAR WARS,” completely invented by myself. What I aim to do with this piece is create a short narrative where popular and iconic characters are basically participating in an all out fight. To better understand, an outline is attached at the bottom.
Scar Wars rough script
2. 3. Line 1 “The Scar wars. They left our planet ravaged. But after the onslaught, the death, and the hell that became our lives, eventually we won, and we thought it was over.”
4.Line 2 “But we were wrong”
4.5 Line 3 “Pika!”
Line 4“Lets get this show on the road, aha!”
Darht vs Teletubby
slide 1 : WAR
Sonic goes super
slide 2 : RAGE
Master Chief and Samus
Slide 3 : LUST
Charlie and sponge hands
13.5. Charlie and sponge
13.5.2. Charlie and sponge charge/transform
slide 4 : MORE RAGE
15.5. Line 5 “Ogres have layers… We both have layers.”
Slide 5: SCAR WARS, COMING THIS CHRISTMAS, FOLLOW US ON TWITTER
Sita Sings the Blues is an excellent animation feature film, which I believe highlights the usability of animation platforms like After Effects. Let me begin my response by describing what I initially liked or what otherwise immediately caught my attention.
To begin, the different styles of animation used by Nina Paley enhance the piece and display her diverse talents. I also appreciated the consistency of the animation relating to whatever it was the story was doing. For example, the shadow puppets (who were hilarious) had a unique animation style different from the others; so too did the cartoon when Sita literally sang the blues; the meta narrative of Paley’s own life and breakup also had a unique style. What’s more impressive is that she did all of this alone, and worked on it from a single program. This, I think, speaks volumes about her talent as well as what can be done using the Adobe programs.
My critique of the piece is simple, and I can categorize criticisms in three ways. The first complaint lies in the intro and ending. Although I appreciate that Paley used the same sequence to conclude the film as she did to open it, I think that they are too abstract and take away from the story. Furthermore, the length of these pieces was a little bit too long. My second criticism regards the blues songs that Sita sings. To clarify, I believe Annette Hanshaw’s voice is lovely, the songs are great, and that this was an excellent creative choice on the part of Paley. Furthermore, I respect her use of the song and animation to show the connection between the context of the song and how that related to the story. However, like the introductory and concluding animations, the songs ran a bit too long. My final criticism lies in the ending of the Sita story. I thought that it was abrupt and not as exciting as I would have liked to have seen, which left me feeling like a some action was missing. Nevertheless, if this was Paley’s creative choice, then I appreciate the technique. However, I personally would have made Sita’s “return to the womb” a little more exciting.
These things said, Sita Sings the Blues was altogether a great film. The storytelling was great, and the different facets of the narrative, like Paley’s own trials, Sita, and the shadow puppets, all enriched the film and grasped audience attention. Overall, I highly enjoyed watching this movie. If I can take anything away from this film, it is that Animation is a difficult endeavor, but a truly rewarding one if done well.
For my animation I want to create a Sailor Moon style transformation scene starring Nicki Minaj (I wasn’t looking at many references during but the final project will resemble her more). All assets will be drawn by me then imported into Photoshop to separate elements. Shots 0A-0E are optional (only if I have time).
This is my animation storyboard. I’m really excited! But, slightly worried it might be too long, or too complex. It is about a little boy who gets a balloon and it blows him away, and he lands in India! Then he comes back and his mom didn’t even notice he was gone… 🙂
The basic premise for this animation is a girl studying in her room on a particularly windy night at 3 am in the morning. She hears a scratching from her closet and goes to check what it is. The main elements of the story will be driven primarily by the audio sounds. I’ve assembled a basic collection of all the pictures of the elements in the story, now I just need to edit them in photoshop to create a comprehensive visual component that would then make my animating process easier.
This is an animation about two balloons. One is in the real world, the other is in the reflected cartoon world. At first, you may not see that they are two balloons, but gradually you will see the relationship between the two balloons. In the end, the two balloons are united and they merge into one balloon with the shape of heart. This is a story about finding love.
The balloons are painted in PhotoShop in different layers.
All the backgrounds are ready to be changed, but I want to create a feeling that the right side balloon is the left side balloon in another world.
The entire animation is amazing! Even though the animation style were particularly different from scene to scene, the overall story flowed very smoothly from different points in time and settings. A lot of the main scenes are musicals that portrayed accurately (and sometimes hilariously) the situation in which the characters, Sita and Rama — as well as the modern couple, undergo. This animation can be interpreted as how the relationship between the two genders can change through the outside circumstances that affect them and their thoughts. The narrators within the animation were vital figures that discussed and expounded The Ramayana to the audience in a fun and interesting way, and I think this element was absolutely necessary to the audience, because some of the audience might get confused if the narrators were not portrayed.
A few things I have noticed within the story. A high correlation persists between the story of Sita and Rama and the one of the modern couple. The circumstances, such as the couples being stripped away by others and even themselves, lead from the initial burst of their love to the end of their relationship. Additionally, I wonder what was the motive behind Dave’s “Don’t come back” message, is he doubting her like Rama to Sita? Or is he cheating on her? The message is rather obscure and leaves some questions.
Furthermore, Rama’s voluntary monkey servant, Hanuman, is quite similar to the man-monkey, Sun Wukong, portrayed in The Journey to the West from the mayor Chinese literatures. Both of the monkeys are able to “jump” from places afar, and they have an entire army of monkeys ready to do anything. The main objective of Sun Wukong was to protect and follow a monk to India for Buddha’s teachings, while Hanuman was to support Rama in his journey. Maybe, both characters are the same individual but at different points in time, since a significant part of the Chinese beliefs in Buddhism was borrowed from India’s beliefs. I think it would be quite interesting to see that Hanuman is Wukong. Nonetheless, this was just a short side theory.
I enjoyed the animation and now I’ll go onwards to the development of mine!
You know, in this day and age, it is hard to find a way of storytelling that you’ve never seen before. Movies are loosely based on the same techniques, again and again. So much so that one could be convinced that all techniques have been explored to their full potential. Had I watched Sita Sings The Blues prior to this class, I would definitely have thought that it was a definitely amateur production, and that maybe it was easy to do a similar project! Alas! Now, I have a certain inkling of an idea how much such a project could have cost the creator. Nina Paley. She somehow managed to align images from different, possibly stories of the Sita and Rama legend, to make an endearing and exciting story of Sita and Rama. Her success for me, I think was the fact that these images, even though different did not provide a jarring effect to the narrative of the story…halfway through, it became expected; for the monkey to change to purple, for Rama to switch from between blue and the ‘normal’ skintone, etc.
But even better for me, was the way Nina told the story. Coming from a culture that has quite a number of legends and myths going around myself, I know how hard it is to tell an accurate story of the happenings of the past- it is near impossible. Not only are these stories normally told through oral tradition but they’re also usually told by people trying to teach you a lesson so it’s bound to happen that they’ll emphasise certain aspects and leave out the others. It is therefore brilliant that Nina uses the conversation of 3 Indians as they try to figure out which versions of the story they all have makes the overall “correct” one. Another aspect I particularly like is the parallel juxtaposition of the Sita and Rama with her own story of a girl being separated from her boyfriend for a while and then rejoining him only to find that he doesn’t want her anymore. It kind of humanises the Sita and Rama story and makes it more relatable to the audience too! I would definitely recommend my friends to watch this too!
I’m constantly being introduced to new means of creating in this Communications Lab class and it’s fascinating the number of things one can create. In the making of this movie I experienced using a professional camera, using CC Premiere to create and edit movies, the importance of good lighting for the making of a movie, and in addition building on previous skills used in previous projects notably using the microphone and Audition. It’s also the first time I’ve been introduced to storyboards and how displaying the different shots on paper makes an idea more concrete and also shows you what you exactly need to do.
In this project, I was mainly in charge of recording sound although I also managed to get a chance at doing Light and Camera. In the process of making the movie I learnt how important it was for everyone to be ready before shooting the scene in question and having prompt words such as “cut” or “rolling” in order to make the editing process easier.
Putting together the movie on Premiere was the most challenging part because although we had all the shots and sound, it was time to go through every single one of them, cutting and pasting and editing over and over again. I think it was really interesting to sync sound and video together because I had to export all the sound into Audition to raise the amplitude up and then import it back into Premiere. The task I found most fun and time consuming was syncing sound and video. The “marker” tool became my best friend in the process.
Overall, I think I got a feel of how to make a movie and the amount of work that goes into making big movie productions that come out in the theatres. There are so many components that the crew has to take into account and the editing is done so meticulously. I’m really fascinated and at the same time I’m really glad to be learning all of this. It’s all so interesting and I can now recognise things once I see it on screen, and it equips me with the tools to start creating my own projects.
*Big Thanks to the incredible friend actors who helped make this project awesome.*
I thought that was interesting. I REALLY liked the parts where the Indian people were trying to recall history, and the animator was illustrating what they were saying. I enjoyed all parts, especially the songs, but boy, especially that narrative part! It was so funny.
Also. I think it is weird how your mind just “accepts” some things when watching animation. Like, Sita’s body?
That defies the laws of physics. But we don’t question it. Animation can take you to a place that typical film cannot. There is this abstract reality present in animation and you can really play with that. I mean, think of that acid-trippy part in the beginning and middle. You have no clue what is going on, but it is animation, so anything goes!
We had a lot of fun doing the rough cut, although this doesn’t mean it was entirely without obstacles. These were some of our main difficulties.
Recruitment of cast members
scheduling of cast members
Lack of efficient lighting
Not knowing how to fully operate the microphone (and getting bad audio because of it)
In the process of editing the Rough Cut, we had to deal with some of our problems that came up while shooting. The main one was dealing with the audio. We had low levels in some scenes, and exponentially higher levels in others. We had to export sound to audition in order to smooth everything out and make it sound cohesive. Additionally we had to leave a few scenes out because we had not yet filmed them, due to casting conflicts.
The final cut was another obstacle, but we are very happy with our outcome. We worked with our audio and finally adjusted the noise reduction to a level we liked. We cleaned up the music to make the entire piece more fluid. All in all, we realized the importance of good audio when making a video, and it was what we struggled with the most.
We all took turns manning different positions. Whether it was sound, lighting, or camera we all got to handle the equipment at one point or another. This allowed us to practice and understand the difficulties of filmmaking, and all the effort that can go into just one shot.
In regard to the editing, we also divided this up. Although, we discovered that audio was the largest job and difficulty.
Many thanks to Leon, Roxanne, Saphaya, and the Campus Store!! 🙂
Here is the link to the final cut. In our edits, we color-corrected the frames to reflect the same warm, glow, edited the audio for noise reduction, and worked on the transitions from clip to clip. We also eventually cut out the majority of footage in favor of story coherence.
Here is the link: https://drive.google.com/a/nyu.edu/file/d/0B5uy6selZe-tSHZTTTg4TV9SRFk/view?usp=sharing
NOTE: Must be signed into NYU email address in order for link to work.
When doing our rough cuts, we were giving a lot of freedom in regards to our shots, which was good and bad at the same time. Our shots required more work in regards to getting our dancers together, coordinating in general.
Here is the link:https://drive.google.com/a/nyu.edu/file/d/0B5uy6selZe-tRmJtalFIOUV4bHc/view?usp=sharing